Dancing on the edge for Stella’s Circle

Tara Bradbury
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A fifth anniversary on the fifth day of the fifth month — Sunday is bound to be lucky for belly dance troupe The Neighbourhood Strays, and for local charity Stella’s Circle, too.

For the fifth year in a row, the Strays are presenting “Dance on the Edge,” an event celebrating belly dancing in this province. Dancers from across the province will perform, along with Laura Selenzi, an Egyptian belly dancer from Halifax’s Serpentine Studios.

It’s the first year for the event at Holy Heart — a move that came since demand for tickets has grown steadily, year to year — but as usual, it’s a charitable affair, with a portion of the proceeds going towards Stella’s Circle.

The organization aims to address poverty, abuse and oppression through programs that include counselling services, affordable housing, and employment and education programs.

“We usually pick a charity that is known to give back to the community,” explained dancer Karen Humby.

“As a Neighbourhood Stray, the community has been phenomenal with support for us and the things we do.”

Past organizations that have benefitted from “Dance on the Edge” include Iris Kirby House and Marguerite’s Place.

The Strays perform eastern European gypsy-style belly dance, and make appearances at various festivals and multicultural events throughout the year, as well as fundraising events.

Caitlyn Hill has been a member since 2006.

“I was in my third year of university at MUN and I just thought I wanted to try something really new, something really different, and kind of step out of my comfort zone,” Hill told The Telegram.

“(I) discovered there were classes being taught downtown and gave it a try and in 15 minutes I was hooked.”

It’s definitely a workout, both Hill and Humby say, and more fun than running on a treadmill.

Belly dance requires core muscle strength — something that is developed through classes, and dancers don’t need to have either a rounded or flat belly, since belly dance is suitable for everyone, they said.

The biggest part of the dance is attitude and confidence.

“It’s for every height, size and age. It’s an ancient dance that is based around movement for a woman’s body,” Hill said, acknowledging, however, that there are male belly dancers.

“It makes you feel good, it makes you feel strong. It might not make you feel skinny, but it’s going to make you feel beautiful.”

Tickets for “Dance on the Edge” are $20 and available at the Holy Heart Theatre box office or online at holyhearttheatre.com.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

This story also appeared Wednesday on Telegram TV on Rogers Channel 9 and will be rebroadcast at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. today and 9:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays the show is rebroadcast at noon across the island. On Mondays and Tuesdays, it is repeated at 6:30 p.m.



Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Iris Kirby House, The Telegram, Holy Heart Theatre

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Recent comments

  • cathy reid
    May 06, 2013 - 16:37

    I attended the Dance on the Edge concert at Holy Heart Theatre last night. The energy was electric! This event was very wel organized, the venue was great and the perfomers were all very inspiring. It was definitely a celebration of femininity. Congratulations to all for bringing together such a great event. Every year this event get better. I can't wait until next years Dance on the Edge. Thanks to all.